Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sour grapes or hotel hijinks?

Is Don Hewitt a disgruntled developer or someone trying to blow the whistle on sweetheart deals? Anna Wolfe scored another story in the Clarion-Ledger yesterday and raised questions about the convention center hotel deal.  Ms. Wolfe reported:

Through his objection to a Jackson Redevelopment Authority project selection, local developer Don Hewitt has connected dots that he says illustrate conflicts of interest.

Hewitt, managing member of Advanced Technology Building Solutions, competed alongside Red Leaf unsuccessfully against Engineering Design Technology and Mississippi Developers for the Jackson Convention Complex hotel deal.

“They’re going to sue us whether we approve it or not,” said JRA Chairman McKinley Alexander. “I contend that there’s nothing we’re going to do that’s not going to result in the need for litigation.”...

He has yet to receive any kind of response from the authority. Alexander calls it sour grapes.

"Most of the stuff they write, I tend not to read it," Alexander said, adding that he does not have any development interest or any family members who would be included on contracts, so he doesn't have to worry about conflicts. "None of the board members I know about have a conflict with EDT."

The subcontractors, on the other hand, aren't of interest to Alexander, who stresses they are not the ones the JRA approves.....

Why would anyone look at subcontractors? It is true that Mr. Hewitt has challenged several JRA decisions over the past few years in court. However, Ms. Wolfe quizes the financing of this particular deal:

There's one other issue: the validity of the project's investor, Hamershlag, Sulzberger, and Borg Capital Markets Inc., which claims it has the financial capacity to provide bond backing for the entire project.

According to a letter from the New York investment banking firm, "For the Jackson project we have a partnership with PFA, a political subdivision of the State of Wisconsin created for the purpose of issuing tax-exempt and taxable conduit bonds for public and private entities nationwide."

Hamershlag does not have an operating webpage. The group's Facebook page says it has operated as an investment bank for over 175 years and has 56 offices in 33 countries.

Mychal Jefferson, chairman of Hamershlag's Private Family Office who owns 10 to 25 percent of the company, is Mississippi Developers' CFO. Hamershlag says in the EDT proposal that it is a minority-owned company, but records from FINRA, the primary regulatory entity in the investments industry, show 75 percent of the company is owned by Stephen Perciballi, who is white.... Rest of article.

Interesting. Very interesting. Read the rest of the story.  Not bad for someone who isn't a 'voice of the community". 


Anonymous said...

Anna Wolfe has been killing it, and it's obvious she has a good source and knows what the investigators are looking at. She can't come out and write that in an article, but given how aggressively she has been reporting lately, that's clearly what's going on.

It has been hilarious watching Jackson's voice of the community and her former boss cattily going after her for "irresponsible" reporting.

Kingfish said...

What has she been doing?

Anonymous said...

Anna needs to turn her efforts toward the gaming commission:

The Gaming Commission has long been a toothless paper tiger and continues to let casino and charitable bingo operators get away with murder. They are told to stay out of the papers, not make waves and avoid embarrassing commission members, corporations and their executives. They are in bed with the private sector hospitality association and its director (Larry Gregory) - who happens to be the former Executive Director of the gaming commission - still has influence over the affairs/decisions of the Commission. Gregory is a long time politico in the state and has left a trail of impropriety in his wake, he's managed to get his former bosses replaced so he could advance his career and has worked himself into a sweetheart deal where he can peddle influence over the weaklings at the commission.

Anonymous said...

Damn 12:28. Get a life. Or a blog of your own.

This post was about the City of Jackson. JRA. Hotel developers. The crony politics of Jackson's Mayor.

And about the good job that Anna Wolfe is doing in being relentless in following up on the story.

You want to write a column about the Gaming Commission - bring on some specifics other than your being upset (maybe got nailed by them?? Or lost a job with them?) doesn't matter. Its another subject. Since you have done this previously, go ahead and start your own blog and let it be a one-subject blog. Don't know what your readership will be but at least you might stay out of the way of those of us that have other concerns.

Kudos to Anna Wolfe - again.

Anonymous said...

Your feeble attempt to shift the focus of the thread from the actual subject would indicate that you must be involved in that scam. Don't worry. There's plenty of time to look at the Gaming Commission, but, right now, the camera lens is pointed at you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness Anna exited the JFP. All the good ones do. Ever notice how nearly every story and staff column there, regardless of author, reads as if it was written by DonnerKay?

Anonymous said...

Looks like everything checks out.

If it's good enough for Nancy Pelosi's son it ought to be good enough for the JRA.

Paul Francis Pelosi Jr. (born January 23, 1969) is the son of former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and a speaker on environmental policies[1] encouraging individuals and local governments to take an active role in conserving natural resources and reducing their carbon footprint. Pelosi has spoken on topical environmental issues at conferences in Stockholm, Milan, and Amsterdam.

In 2013, Pelosi joined Hamershlag, Sulzberger & Borg, one of the oldest investment banks firms focused on mergers, equity underwriting and debt offerings.

Anonymous said...

DonnerKay and Yarber seem to enjoy a very special relationship with each other and the bold new city.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Pelosi's staff get arrested for its involvement is Hamershlag.

Anonymous said...

KF, she has sent out numerous tweets bitching about the reporting, however I do not care nearly enough to go back and find them. Also, as 2:47 and 4:44 have pointed out, they have consistently taken the side of the city, and her heavy-handed editorial influence is obvious in a lot of the stories that tend to be otherwise well done by that Summers guy. Not that that is anything new though.

C. Cannon said...

No reporter worth their salt stays working for the Stauffer/Ladd sweatshop. Kingfish and now Anna are doing all the heavy lifting that LaddCo claims the JFP has been doing for over a decade.

Anonymous said...

Being completely neutral, some things Ladd is saying are correct. Anna's story on Yarber's mortgage was botched journalism as best. they tried to paint tony ( true or not) as a crook who got political favors with no quotes from real people to back it up.

on the other hand, Ladd is hating on anna and the CL for sure. JFP has maybe 2 more years, and that's being nice.
She keeps throwing mud as a desperate attempt to get more readers. How about:

Do more ground breaking stories
Pay your reporters

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the Ledger will pay Ms. Wolfe enough to keep her. Her story on Yarber's disappearing mortgage note in no way suggested it was a payoff. She explained how it was written off.

WHA?? said...

Wolff's article, at least the part pasted above by Kingfish, reads like a journal entry intended for an editor's comments or approval. Imagine being a simple reader on this blog, with no prior interest in or knowledge of this 'story'. It would make zero sense, as it did to me.

Suddenly this novel transports me into the Pelosi dining room and just as quickly thrusts me into the sweatshop operated by one Miz Ladd, of whom I have even less interest and knowledge.

So, unless you're one of the players in this 'mini series', write for a newspaper or have a passing interest in the mayor's home mortgage and journalism interns, you're left with a resounding "WHAT?" on your face.

Anonymous said...

... as it did to me.

Nobody cares.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:08
Perhaps you would be more comfortable with Snapchat.

Anonymous said...

You Anna Wolfe groupies are so predictable. If she was a troll, you would be blowing her out of the water. Go take some saltpeter and relax.

Anonymous said...


Keep reading the fine quality posts and comments here and continue to try and to improve your internet skillz.

There's a lot to learn and an occasional inside game or two being played. if you pay close attention you might even see some occasional high quality muckraking and exposure of political crooks.

If all this seems like too much effort, or is beyond your skillz, then don't let the door hit ya!

Anonymous said...

The "56 offices in 35 countries" are all Regus Virtual office locations. The company was founded in 1835, but was purchased only registered with FINRA in 2000. Executives in the company have a FINRA rap sheet.

A DC based developer using a political consultant as a hotelier while hiring BS and Parker Poe. Think bigger, folks. Think bigger.

Luther's Wabash said...

Enter the JJ groupies (or is it just JJ in disguise) to support his nonsensical crypticisms. They gots skillz.

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya


Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Who is the hottest reporter?


Who is the Hottest Reporter in Jackson?

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS